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Scion of Lucban’s hero laments lack of sense of heroism and history among millennials

by John Bello
July 20, 2019
Sons and daughters of the Anderson Guerilla Veterans headed by Hobart Dator Jr., (3rd from left), son of the late guerilla commander Hobart Dator Sr.,, pose before his monument at the entrance of the municipal hall in Lucban town.


LUCENA CITY – A son and namesake of a former mayor and local hero of the municipality of Lucban has lamented the lack of historical and heroic footing among the millennial youth of the present generation that could spell the disappearance of the historical and heroic consciousness of the future generation in the province and in the country.

Historical bust of the 
late mayor Hobart Dator Sr. 
at the office of the incumbent
Lucban mayor Celso Olivier Dator.
“Nawawala na sa kasalukuyan, lalo na sa kabataan natin ngayon, ang kamalayan at kahalagahan ng kasaysayan at kabayanihan at nakababad na sila ngayon sa social media, sa internet, at sa kung ano ang bago sa mga gadgets at teknolohiya,” said Hobart Dator, Jr., son of the late mayor Hobart Dator Sr. who led a local guerilla movement in Lucban during the Second World War and served as the town’s mayor for 16 years.
“Nakakalungkot at ang mga kabataan ngayon wari’y nawawala na ang pagmamahal at paggunita sa ating mga bayani na kagaya nina Rizal, Del Pilar, Mabini at Bonifacio na nag-alay ng kanilang buhay para sa ating kalayaan at kung anuman ang tinatamasa natin ngayon sa ating bansa,” Dator Jr. told Sentinel Times in an exclusive interview here on Thursday.
Dator Jr. and some of his family members and siblings, have made flower offering last July 4 at the monument of the late mayor at the front entrance of Lucban’s municipal hall in simple commemoration of the 74th anniversary of the Anderson guerilla movement the latter has founded.
He said that those who showed up for the flower offering were his brother, ex-mayor Serafin Dator; his wife, Evangeline; his father’s sister, Ester Jardin; incumbent mayor Celso Olivier’s mother, Crystalline; municipal administrator Maria Liezl Macandile, Lucban tourism officer Dennis ‘Denden’ Jardin, Bgy. Palola councilor Tammy Dator and several relatives and friends of Dator family.
Dator Sr. who was born on Feb. 11, 1923, was 12 yrs. old when Manuel Luis Quezon was then the governor of Tayabas, now the province of Quezon. According to historical accounts during the Japanese occupation, Dator, Sr., rising to the challenge of nationalism, left his wife after less than a month of marriage to join the Sector 43 of the Anderson Guerillas and was assigned to command its service company. After the war, Dator Sr. managed the Guerrillas Cooperative Store and later was employed as driver and promoted as dispatcher of the Laguna-Tayabas Bus Company. He ran for mayor in 1951 but lost to then incumbent mayor Felimon Villasenor. In 1955 he ran again and won to serve Lucban for the next 16 years. In 1971 he was elected as provincial board member, got reelected in 1980 and later was appointed vice governor and acting governor until 1986. He established the Lucban Municipal Junior High School in 1964 and Lucban Community College in 1969 and finished his high school and graduated his Liberal Arts education, a 2 yrs course. Later, the school evolved into a Southern Luzon Polytechnic College and finally became a state university and renamed Southern Luzon State University. He retired from public service in 1986 and died in 1991. He was conferred a posthumous recognition of Medalya ng Karangalan Award in 2008 during the late Quezon Gov. Rafael Nantes for his leadership and educational vision in the establishment of the school which now became the SLSU, the center of learning and education which draws thousands of student enrolees from all over Quezon and nearby provinces of Laguna and Batangas.

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Dator, Jr., an independent-minded and civic-spirited individual who founded several nongovernment groups like Save Mt. Banahaw Movement, Quezon Bus Operators Association and Save Quezon Province Movement, hailed and cited the promotion of national heritage of newly elected Manila mayor Isko Moreno.
“Mahalaga at di dapat binabale-wala ang ating kasaysayan, ang ating mga bayani at pamana ng ating lahi, ang ating dignidad at pangalan kaysa anupamang pansamantala lamang,” said Dator Jr., who at 65, has not lost his high hopes and sense of idealism for the good of the country.

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